Winderemere Estate, Munnar, Kerala

Sitting on Observatory Hill, high in the Palani Hills and in the heart of the tea country, Windermere Estate is surrounded by a cardamom estate. The 360° views from this delicious little retreat are truly awe-inspiring and you often find yourself looking down on the clouds below. When the clouds disperse, the Western Ghats open up before you.

Scattered around the hilltop are delightful, large cottages and a farmhouse which, together, house 18 charming, simply decorated rooms with views to die for or a small garden. The wooden, ‘chalet-style’ dining room sits below an airy yet cosy sitting room which boasts a blazing log fire for warmth on the colder nights, and it looks over the pretty garden and pool. The owning family live in the old planters’ bungalow (part time) and their friendly staff will take you off on long walks in the hills or private cardamom estate.

It is very much a place to experience the hills at their best as the peace and solitude up here is second to none - nature and an unspoilt wilderness envelop you. Simple, local cuisine will ensure no-one goes out on an empty stomach and thirst-quenching mint tea awaits guests on their return from a vigorous and informative walk. Famous for its ‘alpine’ atmosphere and charm, Windermere Estate is an enchanting place which would appeal to people who want to escape from the bustling cities and who have a love for the great outdoors and who are in search of a low-key, wilderness atmosphere.

Eco / environmental / responsible tourism policy

Having been the first operation in India to be audited and certified by Green Globe, Malabar House & Escapes are very much part of the responsible tourism movement in Kerala and are pioneers of such.

As a group, they have various 'green' commitments:

  • Waste and grey water is collected and treated and used for irrigation.
  • Segregated kitchen waste is treated in one chamber and the obtained Biogas is used for cooking.
  • Guests are encouraged to drink the pure spring water in order to avoid by bottled (plastic) water.
  • Windermere Estate patronises the village school.
  • The owner of the estate is a practicing doctor, and offers the villagers free consultations and sometimes free medicine is provided.
  • The owners are education and urging the villagers to manage waste hygienically with the help of government bodies. An ongoing process.
  • The staff that Winderemere Estate are mainly from the local area.
  • The construction materials used in creating the hotel are local, namely granite, recycled wood. The cottages have been constructed without disturbing the natural landscape, with greenery remaining intact to maximum.
  • Natural light has been utilized to the maximum. Energy saving lamps are used in all the rooms.
  • Some of the fruit and vegetables used in the hotel are home grown especially cabbage, passion fruit, strawberry and tree tomato.
  • A large area of the Windermere Estate is under organic cultivation.
  • Watering for agricultural purposes is done by the mist and drip irrigation methods.
  • Mechanized dryers for processing cardamom are used to bring down the use of firewood.
  • All the barren land within the estate is being re-forested.
  • The various water bodies around the 60 acres of land have now drawn in myriad bird species.

Party Moments

High in the hills, tea and cardamom estates of Kerala, this delightful hotel has glorious views and would be a fun place to take over for a medium sized gathering of friends who want to get into the wilderness. Limited venues on site might preclude longer party moments from happening but any party here would be carefully and charmingly managed. Limited local entertainment possible.

reservations

For reservations please contact your tour operator, your local travel agent,
or the hotel.

must do

Get up early and climb to the viewing platform to look down on the clouds in the valley below you. Take a plantation walk.

Access

By air to Cochin or Madurai followed by a 3 ½ / 4 hour road journey.

By road from the backwaters, Kanam, Thekkady, Kodaikanal, Pollachi, Palakkad.

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